Alcohol consumption in Russia is double WHO limit

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 12, 2010 05:50 hrs

Moscow, Nov 12 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Per capita alcohol consumption in Russia is twice the critical limit set by the World Health Organisation (WHO), an official said Friday.

The present consumption is currently about 18 litres a year, which has prompted the government to declare an anti-alcohol campaign which aims to halve consumption by 2020.

About 40 percent of Russians - or 57 million people - drink to excess, health ministry official Yevgeny Bryun said Friday.

'Economic, social and family troubles, come mainly from those who just drink to excess. They constitute about 30-40 percent of our population,' Bryun said.

Bryun added that around 1.5 million Russians are addicted to heroin, almost three times as much as the number of registered addicts.

'Some 530 drug addicts are registered, but the total figure stands at 1.5 million, according to our estimates,' he said.

According to official statistics, around 30,000 people die in Russia every year from heroin consumption.